Obama on Hypocrisy

Throwing Stones from the Green ... er ... Whitehouse

At a joint press conference with Mexican president Felipe Calderon and Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper, United States president Barack Obama had some testy words for people who criticized him for lack of action on the Honduran coup.

The same critics who say that the United States has not intervened enough in Honduras are the same people who say that we’re always intervening and the Yankees need to get out of Latin America. You can’t have it both ways.

If these critics think that it’s appropriate for us to suddenly act in ways that in every other context they consider inappropriate, then I think what that indicates is that maybe there’s some hypocrisy involved in their approach to U.S.-Latin American relations that certainly is not going to guide my administration’s policies.

I agree with Obama that hypocrisy stinks, and it should not be a part of his administration – or any administration.

In the case of Honduras, Obama rejects calls for tougher sanctions. However, he has not shirked from continuing tough sanctions on, for example, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Zimbabwe, and Myanmar.

Hypocrisy, as most people know, is when you say one thing and contradict it. Dictionary.com defines it, primarily, as “a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess.”

Obama has presented himself as an opponent of hypocrisy. If, indeed, this is true, then one would expect that Obama does not reverse himself on stated policy, and, certainly, he should never break a promise … otherwise that would be hypocrisy about opposition to hypocrisy.

So when Obama stated, early on, that he opposed the war in Iraq it would be expected that he would not waver from such a belief, and, certainly, he would not engage in prolongation of a war or the aftermath occupation. But low-level warfare continues in Iraq as does the occupation.

In fact, as a Senator, Obama voted to approve every war appropriation the Bush administration put forward.

Nevertheless, to attract the antiwar vote, Obama said he would get US combat troops out of Iraq in 2009. Obama has since backtracked on this and is committed to keeping enough soldiers in Iraq for “counter-terrorism” measures.

Obama also courted the labor movement while campaigning. He promised to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. After the election, Obama reversed his stance on NAFTA. Further displeasing to Labor, Obama appears also to have stepped back from the card check provision in the Employee Free Choice Act.

The tragedy of opting for lesser evilism is that the people get evil.

Kim Petersen is an independent writer. He can be emailed at: kimohp at gmail.com. Read other articles by Kim.

53 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. catherine said on August 15th, 2009 at 10:27am #

    Kim, yes, and again, yes.

  2. Don Hawkins said on August 15th, 2009 at 10:35am #

    Here we go. You have the sides trying to get as many people on there side. The sides of course are really no side just illusion. To know is good as this could just very nasty for what so somebody can say they won when in reality nothing to win. All roads lead to what money and power more like debt and illusion. I guess the sides really want the same thing sort of and how will it play out not well. The people at the head of the sides are not well stay cool calm at peace. .

  3. Josie Michel-Brüning said on August 15th, 2009 at 10:57am #

    Dear Kim Petersen, I share your opinon completely.
    However, when mentioning, “he has not shirked from continuing tough sanctions on, for example, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Zimbabwe, and Myanmar.” you seemed to have forgotten Cuba.
    Indeed, in the Honduran coup the same people are involved as McCain and those exile Cubans like for instance Otto Reich manipulating public opinion about the circumstances in Cuba for letting it appear as a rogue nation, while at the same time letting specially educated terrorists carrying out terrorist attacks against Cuba and assassinating peacefully demonstrating people in Honduras.
    Please, read Nikolas Kozloff on http://www.counterpunch.org/kozloff07142009.html , http://www.counterpunch.org/kozloff07172009.html , http://www.counterpunch.org/kozloff07142009.html
    Obama’s hands seem to be tied, the old gangs are still in power.
    My impression is, if he really wanted to keep his promises from his campaign, he had to fear of being a dead man before long.
    For instance, it would be only an ink stroke for him to pardon the “Cuban Five” unjustly held in U.S. prisons since nearly 11 years. –
    Do you remember what Hillary Clinton during the election campaign said, when he promised a new relation to Cuba?
    Do you remember, what happened to J.F.K. when he secretly wanted to negotiate with Cuba? – Do you remember what happened to Robert Kennedy when eagerly searching for the murders of his brother?
    Your state seems to be governed by lobbies using especially the exile Cuban mafia in fighting for their profits.

  4. dan e said on August 15th, 2009 at 12:18pm #

    Catherine, I second the motion: Kim Si, Obama no.

    Don Hawkins: you said that to say what. ??

  5. Kim Petersen said on August 15th, 2009 at 2:38pm #

    Thanks for the comments everyone. Josie, I didn’t forget Cuba, that is why I wrote “for example.” I just wrote down a few countries that came quickly to mind. I could also have written North Korea, Burma, etc. (See list.) I quite agree that Cuba is the victim of an illegal US embargo, and this is another example of Obama’s fidelity on US interventionism.

  6. Hue Longer said on August 15th, 2009 at 3:01pm #

    My problem with Obama bringing up hypocrisy (however incorrect) is that it switches the argument to circumstantial ad hominem instead of justice. Hypocrisy isn’t near as bad as charging people with it.

  7. beverly said on August 15th, 2009 at 4:19pm #

    Re: Josie’s comment on “Obama’s hands being tied . . .” and “he had to fear being a dead man before long.”

    Obama is no naive rube/dupe. This man knowingly signed up with the power brokers long ago and willingly executes their agenda. Before anyone heard of the man, Obama was vetted by the power players who decide who gets to win elections. Said brokers found a man who could woo the ignorant masses with charm to garner votes while happily continuing the greedism and militarism agenda of the US govt.

    Anyone who read indy media or just had his/her bullshit meter running knew from Obama’s words, actions, and inactions – and most important – the company he kept, i.e., campaign team and cabinet choices – that he was not going to follow any true Progressive agenda. The administration kicks sand in the face of this agenda daily and STILL people are making excuses for him: “His hands are tied. The white folks won’t let him do but so much. Bush messed up things so bad he can’t do much better. He’s being led around by so and so.” Never has a politician being given so many free passes and coddled so much while figuratively spitting in the faces of those doing the most coddling and excuse making.

    As for fear of being a dead man, that’s a bit over the top. Further, if fear of being a dead man (or woman) ruled the mindset of past movers and shakers, I’d still be sitting in the back of the bus, women of any race wouldn’t be allowed to vote, the 8-hr day/40-hr week/job with benefits/and most technological innovations would be pipe dreams today.

    Past leaders stuck their necks out, risked destitution/disparagement/death and stood their ground to procure justice, rights, and better conditions for their fellow citizens. Today, so-called leaders are too complacent, co-opted, and chickenshit (Hello, Mr. Obama) to do the same for the issues facing us. Scarier still, said chickenshitters can’t be counted on to insure the rights won long ago remain in tact.

    Leadership comes with many perks but it also takes hard work and the fortitude to stand up for what may not be popular with the established power structure. If one doesn’t want to accept the risks along with the rewards of being top dog, one shouldn’t be – and damn sure ain’t – a leader. This “fear of being a dead man” claptrap is just another excuse afforded Teflon Prez #2 so he can weasel out of doing what he got elected to do and what’s just plain right to do.

  8. Don Hawkins said on August 15th, 2009 at 6:12pm #

    Don Hawkins: you said that to say what. ??

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. Charles Dickens

    Sometimes I get tired and I have been working at my Son’s farm today so now I am so tired it doesn’t matter. Anyway today do we see some of the noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. I think to quote Dickens for the foolishness we see today would do him a great injustice. I must admit I want to see how the big picture in just one year looks. Of course always better to look at that picture with these special glasses I found in a dumpster a few years back.

  9. Don Hawkins said on August 15th, 2009 at 6:49pm #

    On second thought we don’t need those glasses anymore.

  10. Mulga Mumblebrain said on August 16th, 2009 at 1:58am #

    Of course Obama, the ‘confidence-man’ par excellence is guilty of more than just cynical hypocrisy. He is also inverting reality, accusing the non-hypocrites of that hypocrisy he is himself guilty of, and thus also guilty of that banal psychic malady, projection. Both are absolute stocks-in-trade of the Zionists. And we must never forget that Obama was recruited by Zionists while at University, given his first job by Zionists, financed throughout his career by Zionists and began repaying their ‘generosity’ from the moment he appointed Rahm Emanuel to be Prince Regent. Obama has only just begun folks. By the time he leaves office he will have furthered the agenda of the US ruling class, the Zionists and the forces of the predatory Right far more than an upfront belligeratus like Bush II could ever do. The greatest laugh I get these grim autumnal days, as the winter of our very real discontent approaches, is to see all the ‘useful idiots’ who still speak of Obama as a force for chage, or the dawn of a new era etc. Of course I know a lot of the are lying, feigning terminal idiocy to keep the ‘con’ alive, but I’m sure there are many more who believe it, from stupidity or the dread of acknowledging that they’ve been conned yet again.

  11. Don Hawkins said on August 16th, 2009 at 4:11am #

    It’s tomorrow

    If Australia cannot agree, how will more than 90 countries with opposing views possibly thrash out an agreement to tackle climate change?

    It was thought Australia was ready to follow Europe in committing to cut carbon. The country has more first-hand experience than most of the impact of climate change through its recent droughts and bush fires; Kevin Rudd, the prime minister, has overturned his predecessor’s objections to signing up to the Kyoto Protocol and the Green Party is popular.

    Ian Plimer, professor of mining geology at Adelaide University and author of a recent book Heaven and Earth, has controversially questioned whether climate change is man made. His book was refused by many publishers but has since gone on to sell tens of thousands of copies in Australia. Its author has been lobbying politicians and appearing regularly on television.
    The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December will need rich countries such as Australia to introduce climate change legislation to prove they are serious about cutting carbon. Otherwise developing countries like India and China, that are predicted to produce more carbon in the future, will refuse to cut their own emissions.

    All eyes are now on the US where President Barack Obama has a similarly tough job getting through his own legislation. He wants to introduce a carbon trading scheme in the most oil-hungry country in the world. Telegraph uk

  12. Michael Kenny said on August 16th, 2009 at 5:03am #

    “The tragedy of opting for lesser evilism is that the people get evil.”
    The tragedy of those who think that what they call “lesser evilism”, (i.e. compromise, the very stuff of democracy) can be “opted for”, or, indeed, against, is that the people get nothing! Those who refuse to compromise with others condemn themselves to be ranting extremists whom nobody takes seriously and who, therefore, are unable to make the slightest contribution to the causes they claim to support.

  13. Don Hawkins said on August 16th, 2009 at 5:10am #

    A similarly tough job getting through his own legislation. And then there was none. The part I want to see is after Copenhagen and here in the States the old climate bill a joke on the human race what happens with the mood of people. All the people. You think this health care bill a little different wait until the climate bill and the complexity in order to keep everything in it’s proper place. Will the powers that be be successful in coning the people? I don’t know but again I don’t think we will need those special glasses anymore to see in the greatest nation on Earth, oh so hungry. Give me more more more oh more on the way alright.

  14. Don Hawkins said on August 16th, 2009 at 6:01am #

    The latest round of preparatory talks for the U.N. climate conference concluded today with negotiators lamenting that the languid pace of talks could mean there won’t be a deal on emissions in Copenhagen this December.

    “What we’re talking about is a profound change of industrial civilization,” Turesson said. “It would be surprising if there weren’t stumbling blocks.”

    Much debate hinges on whether the U.S. Senate will pass climate legislation this fall. Pershing made it clear that the United States will use whatever domestic legislation it passes as the basis for its carbon reduction agreements.

    Unless changed, these pledges will lead to temperature change of more than 3 degrees Celsius, Williams said. NYT

    Well we don’t use Celsius in the greatest nation on Earth we are a Fahrenheit people. A profound change of industrial civilization come on look how far industrial civilization has brought us all. The big mac stay hungry my friends stay hungry.

  15. Dogwood said on August 16th, 2009 at 12:23pm #

    Let’s not forget Obama’s hypocracy on the outrage of 50 to 60 American Citizens dying – per day -right here in this country – simply because they have no health insurance. There is a great video of him as a senator in 2003 clearly stating his support for Single Payer health care – and saying that we’ll have it when the Democrats re-gain control of the White House, and the congress.

    Hypocrite extraordinaire!!!!

    Now that we have just that, he has absolutely refused to even allow Single Payer (full Medicare for all – HR 676) to even be seriously considered – simply and only because he and his corporate owned congressional cronies choose to further the profits of the health insurance companies, the drug companies and the full medical industrial complex than to save the lives of the American people with a simple health care solution, covering everyone and costing less, that’s staring him right in the face – that he knows all about.

    Go to singlepayeraction.org

    or go to HR676.org
    House Resolution (H.R.) 676
    The United States National Health Insurance Act
    (“Expanded & Improved Medicare for ALL”)

  16. dan e said on August 16th, 2009 at 1:55pm #

    Beverly: VERY well said! Thanks also to highly articulate Mulga and also to Dogwood.

    Don Hawkins, I’m sorry but I can’t make heads or tails of your posts, which seem to consist of first saying one thing and then the opposite.

    Michael Kenny, the only problem with your advice is the historical record, which shows that buying into these Lesser Evil con-games doesn’t lead to anything except more evil. You may come over plausible to some DV readers, but your teacher’s pet scab-think doesn’t fool me for a nanosec. The way to get concessions from the Ruling Class is to get them worried, not by agreeing to compromise in advance.
    Grab some pine, meat, go book a hook off a short pier:)

  17. Don Hawkins said on August 16th, 2009 at 2:44pm #

    Well Dan e I guess I haven’t been myself after the passing of Michael Jackson. I had almost come to terms with Elvis then that. I am watching more Fox News now fair and balanced hoping to find some balance and golf on TV seems to help. I know the truth is out there and I just need to find it. Nice game of checkers?

  18. Mulga Mumblebrain said on August 17th, 2009 at 2:17am #

    Michael Kenney, how does one ‘compromise’ with those who have never compromised themselves? Throughout my life the society I live in has been pushed, remorselessly, further and further Right. The media, dominated as it is by the most evil man, in my opinion, in this country’s history, and the increasingly vicious and demented bigots he promotes, is now more or less a machine for disseminating lies, half-truths and advertising, the latter designed to spread mass self-loathing in order to psychically manipulate the ‘target audience’ to buy useless junk, the production of which is destroying the planet’s life support systems. Those who run this planet never compromise-they are never sated, the concept of ‘sufficiency’ is for them a horror as dread as Communism. They never cease for an instant seeking more and more wealth and a greater and greater share of the planet’s riches, no matter how obscenely wealthy they become from their endless scheming. Trying to compromise with them, attempting to reach ‘common ground’ or a truly mutually beneficial outcome is like negotiating with your malignant brain tumour or reasoning with a white pointer as it circles you.

  19. Don Hawkins said on August 17th, 2009 at 4:17am #

    The media, dominated as it is by the most evil man, in my opinion, in this country’s history, and the increasingly vicious and demented bigots he promotes, is now more or less a machine for disseminating lies, half-truths and advertising, the latter designed to spread mass self-loathing in order to psychically manipulate the ‘target audience’ to buy useless junk, the production of which is destroying the planet’s life support systems.

    Mulga did you go to far there? No you sure did not and is that just the way the World work’s? So far it seems so and how does the story end? Not well.

    “You will know (the good from the bad) when you are calm, at peace. Passive. Use the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack. ”

    And for the people at Fox News and the business community who seem to be the best at spreading mass self-loathing in order to psychically manipulate the ‘target audience’ you might want to try this out.

    Wars not make one great!

    “You must unlearn what you have learned.” “Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will…”

    Oh that’s just from a movie and kid’s stuff and the health care debate is not and next climate change will not be the same from grown ups leaders of the free World college graduates all. Sorry third grade level thinking designed to spread mass self-loathing in order to psychically manipulate the ‘target audience’.

    Calm at peace the truth the knowledge and think of this as kind of a war.

  20. United-Socialist-Front said on August 17th, 2009 at 7:27am #

    Dear friends: As long as most businesses in USA (Small and Large) are privately owned by individuals the living standards of most americans will be real low, and life will be a hell for american people. We need a system in which all businesses (Small and large) are owned by the US government and by workers cooperatives.

    The goods and services we buy in USA, are of real poor quality, life. Every thing is a scam and we become real easy prey of small and large business owners.

    So i repeat: The only way toward a better living standards is an 100% nationalization of all businesses in USA (Large and small). The other consequences of nationalizing every thing in America are lower-crime rates, more wealth, a stimulation of the US economy, less depression, less frustration and many, many other positive things that would happen in USA if all businesses were nationalized.

    I say all this because the other day i took my computer to a privately-owned small computer repairing store and the small-capitalist (Pettit bourgeoise) owner charged me 50 dollars and he didn’t even fix it. I repeat as long as businesses are privately owned we will be trapped because private business owners are thieves, liars and crooks and in their goal of earning a lot of money, they would even sell poisoned food.

    So what we need is a grand nationalization program of every business in this country, from Mcdonalds, Gas Stations, Airlines, Universities, Schools, Hospitals. Even prostitutes need to be nationalized (private joke)


  21. b99 said on August 17th, 2009 at 8:11am #

    USF – Surely you are joking that mom and pop stores should be owned by the government? Surely you are joking that we would have a higher standard of living if the goverment owned them? Tell me, is your life hell right now because there are small businesses?

    I think you are being facetious.

  22. mary said on August 17th, 2009 at 8:25am #

    Thank you for this article Kim Petersen.

    John Pilger spoke on OBAMA AND EMPIRE on American Independence Day at the Socialism International held in San Francisco.

    The You Tube is here. About 32 minutes.

    Much of what you say is reiterated as he speaks with his usual devastating clarity.

  23. United-Socialist-Front said on August 17th, 2009 at 8:33am #




    16 de agosto 2009.- El presidente estadounidense Barack Obama está “perdido en un laberinto terrible” y “no entiende” lo que los países de América Latina esperan de él, aseguró este domingo el presidente Hugo Chávez

    Obama “anda perdido en la nebulosa. Creo que está entrando en un laberinto terrible (…) Obama no entiende. El tiene que estudiar un poco más, es un hombre joven, lleno de intenciones buenas”, declaró Chávez en su programa dominical de radio y televisión “Aló Presidente”.

    El mandatario respondió así a las reflexiones hechas por Obama en México esta semana cuando consideró una “hipocresía” que los mismos líderes que critican a Estados Unidos por no hacer todo lo posible en Honduras son los que les piden que se vayan de América Latina, en una clara referencia a Venezuela.

    “Obama, no le estamos pidiendo que intervenga en Honduras. Todo lo contrario. Le estamos pidiendo que retire el imperio su mano de Honduras y que retire el imperio sus garras de América Latina”, dijo.

    “No hay hipocresía Obama, la hipocresía está allá. Obama nos llamó hipócritas porque estamos pidiendo: ‘Yanquis go home’ (Váyanse a casa”), agregó.

    Según Chávez, los estadounidenses convirtieron a Honduras “en una plataforma imperialista para agredir a los pueblos vecinos”.

    “Y todos los gobiernos que en Honduras trataron de frenar la agresión yanqui fueron derrocados, incluyendo a (Manuel) Zelaya, que lo derrocaron los yanquis”, denunció.

  24. United-Socialist-Front said on August 17th, 2009 at 8:39am #

    b99: Yeah small businesses are inefficient as well. What we need is all businesses to be owned by the US government and by Workers-Cooperatives. I think you have reading-problems like most americans. You skiped and dodged the part, where i wrote that the businesses of USA should be also owned by *workers cooperatives*. I didn’ write that all businesses should be owned by the US government.

    In other words big businesses could be owned by the US government, and the smaller ones by workers-cooperatives.

    And by the way, why do you like private small business owners. Private small business owners are still capitalists, individualists and profit-based and small-businesses even give shitty services and are less efficient than big businesses.

    The bread made by Wal Mart is a lot better than the bread sold by small bakeries. So the problem is not the *size* of a business. The problem is that all businesses in USA are privately owned, and they all need to be expropiated and nationalized by US government, and by Workers-Cooperatives.


  25. United-Socialist-Front said on August 17th, 2009 at 8:41am #

    b99: Oh yeah my life is a hell in USA, because all goods and services are provided by the private-sector. That alone causes concentration of wealth in a few, and hell for the many.


  26. b99 said on August 17th, 2009 at 9:45am #

    USC – I’m still thinking you are saying all this tongue and cheek. Where do YOU live that the bread of Walmart is better than that of small bakeries? Maybe in Arkansas this is true. But any neighborhood deli/grocery store in the North has better bread than Walmart.

    Do you think Dissident Voice should be owned by the government?

    I read your post very well – you called for 100% nationalization of ALL businesses – nationalization does not mean ‘worker’s cooperatives.’

    Maybe we should just let Walmart handle this project of yours. Is that not the kind of efficiency you are looking for?

  27. b99 said on August 17th, 2009 at 10:01am #

    USF – For tens of millions of Americans, the standard of living and quality of life is far less than optimal – this is increasingly so as the decades go by. For several billions on Earth, life is ‘hell’ or pretty close to it. But to make a blanket statement that life in the US is hell because all businesses have not been nationalized is pretty much hyperbole.

  28. United-Socialist-Front said on August 17th, 2009 at 11:08am #

    b99: Don’t be so capitalist, capitalism is evil. Only 100% socialism can save USA. Go to Marxists.org to learn about what socialism is, and to learn why life is so bad in countries where businesses are privately-owned.

    Why do you deffend small businesses so much? Do you own a small business and from your egocentric personal point of view, privately owned small businesses help the society?

    You need to learn what nationalization in a socialist system is, and how it is done. The workers-government needs first to nationalize the private small and large businesses, and then transfer the smaller businesses to the working-class, to be owned thru workers-cooperative ownership system. While the larger businesses could be state-owned.

    Nationalization of all businesses in USA, would fix this country which is a hell right now.

    And yes, life is hell in USA for the majority of people, and lot more painful than other countries, because businesses are privately owned.

    And by the way what does this website has to do with socialism. Internet is neutral. The internet information highway is a transnational thing. The internet doesn’t belong to any specific nation. Besides Dissident Voice is not a business, is just a non-profit, alternative news media. The New York Times, CNN, FOX news, The Washington Post, should be nationalized and owned by the US government, not internet websites.

    And your statement that Dissident Voice website would be nationalized by the government if the USA government was socialist, sounds like an ultra-right wing libertarian conspiracy theory of Jeff Rense, Pat Buchanan, Ron Paul, Glenn Beck, Michael Rivero, Alex Jones and the Tea Party ultra-right wint anti-food stamps, Nazis.



  29. dan e said on August 17th, 2009 at 12:17pm #

    This is the overriding reality: if something major isn’t done very soon it looks like the end of genus homo is upon us. And likely the end of organic life on this planet.
    My personal circumstances and age are such that passage of genuine universal single-payer healthcare legislation would benefit me enormously. But even the best US healthcare system imaginable would not stop the accellerating imperialist offensive against the people of the world. Or the assault the same social forces are perpetrating against the natural environment.
    Having participated over many years in struggles for various reforms to the so-called “social safety net”, I look about me and see things worse than they’ve ever been. In the course of these reform struggles, plus struggles vs various forms/instances of oppression & injustice, various wars of aggression etc, I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with many very talented people and to observe their evolution over time. So it’s no mystery to me that Barack Obama can be intelligent and charming on the personal level and at the same time be the key enabler/facilitator of the most vicious, ruthless bloodthirsty policies the world has seen since King Leopold.
    What we are seeing from Obama & Co about Healthcare Reform is a performance aimed at soothing the minds of a significant fraction of the Democratic Party whose self-image and rap to their clientele depends upon their current political stance being in accord with the mythology of Progressivism. It may turn out that in order to keep these Progressive types on board with ZioImperialist global Real-politik, with the attempts to dismantle Russia, China, Iran, with the strategy to intensify the genocidal exploitation of Africa, destabilize Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua… in order to keep the honchos of the “antiwar” movement, the labor movement, environmental mov’t, women’s mov’t, immigrant rights mov’t, NAACP, CPUSA, DSA, CCDS etc etc on board with the Big Picture, it may be found necessary to throw them a large bone, to put them in position to claim credit for getting a major concession out of the Powers That Be.
    The System could function just fine with Universal SinglePayer in place. Undoubtedly there would be major dissatisfaction among some players in the Insurance sector, but if the policy was seen at the top level of the Financial Sector as beneficial to their longterm strategy, any whining could be contained.
    It’s just like the invasions/occupations of Iraq, Pipelinestan, Gaza — they may not seem to make much sense in the short term, but are vital to the longterm global strategy being pursued. What exactly is the goal, the prize so much is being sacrificed for? How much of it is about the profit motive and how much about Zionist ideology I’ll let the reader determine for her/himself, at least for now; the answer doesn’t change the gravity of the current predicament.
    This much is clear: the people and organized structures that are running things now are out of control. All kinds of fanatic ideological concerns are being allowed to influence if not totally control the use of the Imperialist State Apparatus. Crucial decisions are not being made completely rationally, even from a capitalist colonialist perspective.
    Looking at the situation as a member of the species Homo Sapiens Sapiens, I see that the species of which I and those close to me are a part is threatened with a) extinction, and b) enslavement by an ingroup of terrorist fanatics. Logic says the things now being done will soon lead to environmental catastrophe; if we manage to escape extinction, we can look forward to a new Dark Age administered by charming charlatans enserfed to Goldman Sachs and Irving Moskowitz, the age of permanent global warfare. \

    So the minumum survival requires is more than healthcare reform. Somebody has to stop these crackpots before it’s too late.
    Yes, it may be impossible, but we don’t know that for sure. Remember Joe Montana.

  30. b99 said on August 17th, 2009 at 12:22pm #

    USF – Capitalism is not evil. Capitalism is an economic system – a deeply-flawed, if dynamic, economic system. There are certainly evil capitalists, but most capitalists operate within the notion that greed is not evil, the system itself makes greed a desireable goal.

    Sweden is not paradise, but the standard of living in that country is, contrary to your statement about life being bad there, among the highest in the world, despite private ownership of capital. Similar applies to a number of other modified capitalist economies. On the other hand, what countries that feature government ownership of all enterprises is prospering?

    If I was a small business owner, that would not disqualify me from defending the enterprise. But I’m a government worker. My only real problem with small businesses is historic abuse of family labor – especially child labor. But that can be dealt with via reasonable enforcement of labor laws. Otherwise, family-owned small businesses are fine by me. They are run with affection and dedication. What kind of mom and pop store do you think the government can run?

    The Soviet Union was supposed to become a stateless society, the state-owned firms were supposed to become worker co-operatives. It never happened. In fact, they were in large measure, dismal failurres – especially agricultural co-operatives. Adn nobody was transferring nothing to the workers. Admittedly, socialism in one state is a tough thing to accomplish- but those are conditions still extant. Have you been in the working world yet? You sound like you’ve just discovered socialism.

    I think for all misgivings Americans have about the country – only a minority – a rather small one – would agree with you that life is hell. It is for some, but that’s not a good characterization of the whole.

    Why should there be non-profits if the government owns everything? Who needs non-profits in a worker’s paradise?

    Internet is not neutral. You think Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, Twitter, Microsoft are neutral? Say what?

    Looks like you are very familiar with right-wing conspiracy people. I recognize only 3 of the famous ones. I think you need to read around more on the left and not just swallow it whole.

  31. Max Shields said on August 17th, 2009 at 1:47pm #

    B99, I would argue that Hollywood has created the idea that greed is “good” not capitalism. But for sure there are greedy people, perhaps without exception but in degrees that exploit others to achieve personal gain. Is that capitalism?

    I agree that capitalism is not “evil”; it has, at this stage, many pathologies which have taken over the organism of polity and culture. Whether those are inherent in capitalism or in the human species is open to debate. Certainly self-gain has been nothing if not challenging to succumb. It rears its ugly head whether through power or wealth or both. I see no economics, to date, that has successfully created a cooperative society which recognizes interdepency as the natural order.

    So, is it really capitalism that is the problem here? What we have is a pathology of corporatism which owns the wealth and with it the beggers we refer to as politicians (not all are bad, but the demand for funding is insatiable). Why? What makes these corporate entity possible? Is it not laws, and who makes the laws? And why do Americans (and much of the West and now a good deal of the developing world) find their consumer reality in front of TV’s and computers?

    How to untangle this gordian knot. Not by calling it “evil” but by recogning those dynamics, not of the economy alone, but of our interactions, our relationships and building a new world starting where we are.

    On the notion of Adam Smith and “greed” http://www.pcdf.org/corprule/betrayal.htm

  32. Deadbeat said on August 17th, 2009 at 2:31pm #

    dan e writes …

    This much is clear: the people and organized structures that are running things now are out of control. All kinds of fanatic ideological concerns are being allowed to influence if not totally control the use of the Imperialist State Apparatus. Crucial decisions are not being made completely rationally, even from a capitalist colonialist perspective.

    I agree with this observation and it runs counter to the “U.S. Imperialism” explanation of all things that you typically get from Chomsky. His perspective assumes the “rationality” the domination of resources (oil) for all ruling class actions whereby it downplays the role of racism (Zionism) and being a motive behind these policies. As we know Capitalism is every present.

    I believe that racism is the weakest of the pillars of imperialism that can be confronted head on which can help to build the kind of solidarity that is needed to confront the system has a whole. It is what got MLK killed because they ruler knows the implication of that kind of solidarity. It is also what the Left has been avoiding for decades.

  33. Don Hawkins said on August 17th, 2009 at 4:51pm #

    Well we seem to be in a real pickle that would be the human race. Those rather large bombs and now climate change I know a hoax by people who hug trees and smoke pot. Max and Dan those last comments were different almost like being in a secret meeting of The Masons just kidding and those were some heavy thoughts. How to untangle this gordian knot. And in this corner in the white trunks the few who want to try and in this corner in the dark trunks we don’t need to try things are just fine the way they are and the referee for tonight’s match is the many who just don’t care. In the dark trunk corner all the cameras not one coach but 10 and the fighters name, slick. In the white trunk corner one coach telling knowing that was his name strange no just different ok watch those low blows remember we have the knowledge the truth on our side and slick is known for dirty tricks. The bell ring’s and slick to all the cameras raises his hands to the cheer of the crowd. Knowing comes to the center of the ring and slick starts to dance around the edges of the ring the crowd loved this. Slick comes out with a right a low blow I guess the referee didn’t see it and down goes knowing. The crowd starts yelling stay down stay down they were bused in for the fight. The bell rings knowing was saved by the bell. Well slick was playing the crowd and America was watching. Knowing was still trying to come too and the coach was telling him calm at peace this fight isn’t over yet. The bell rings round two and again knowing to the center of the ring. Slick still dancing around the edge to the cheers of the crowd. It worked once let’s try it again slick said to himself. Again with the right and rather low but this time knowing saw it coming and remembered what Yoda had said, “size matters not! Judge me by my size, do you?” As Slick came out with the right again a low blow knowing moved behind him and pulled his britches down to his knees and yelled Slick your ass is showing well Slick and all those cameras watching turned to look at his ass and knowing came around with the old peace maker and down slick went for the count. Remember the referee just didn’t care. You could hear a pin drop in the coliseum and knowing went to the center of the ring as the mike came down and knowing told the crowd still in silence, “if you get to big for your britches you show your ass”. And think of this as kind of a war.

  34. B99 said on August 17th, 2009 at 6:32pm #

    Max – Long before Gordon Gecko proclaimed that greed is good, capitalism gave greed its imprimateur – capital, in fact, disappeared greed. Since capitalism is presented as individuals acting in his/her own self-interest, there is no longer greed, only self-interest – and it is celebrated. One has to go mighty far in pursuit of self-interest before one is charged with greed. Bill Gates came very close, but realized it and started giving away money before it was too late. Sometimes that’s all it takes. The rich have been doing it for more than a century.

    Band societies are most definitely cooperative societies. But they are no longer a factor, though their existence proves humans are capable of running a society based largely in cooperation.

  35. United-Socialist-Front said on August 17th, 2009 at 8:21pm #

    B99: you are very mind manipulated by CNN and capitalist news channels like most americans. USA is a heaven for a minority of exploiters and a hell for the majority of exploited citizens, a real hell of pain and suffering.

    The cause of why many people like you see USA a good country is because of conformism. Conformism makes people happy, because conformist people don’t really want much from life, they are content with 3 meals a day. But we need more than just food. Americans need access to college degrees, to pleasures, entertainment, to good quality doctors and hospitals. And only socialism can really democratize luxuries, pleasures, higher learning and self realization to every body.

    Right now in the USA only about about 10% to 20% are living a full complete, self realized life, the majority are beating the bullets with unfulfilled reams, unchecked goals., and that’s why the capitalist system is not democratic, it is oligarchic, it is just like a monarchy and feudalism, not a real social democratic. That’s why capitalism is the dictatorship of the elite minority of exploiters against the majority of exploited.

    And do you know who i really hate in USA? I hate the US Middle classes. Because the middle-classes of this country don’t want USA to get economically better because they conspire to support the bankruptcy of the United States by voting every 4 years for Democrats and Republicans.

    What we need is a workers-council state in USA. A government ruled by workers while at the same time on the economic side: the mega corporations of USA like Wal-Mart, Pepsi, Coca Cola, Mcdonalds, General Electric, etc. owned by workers, thru the system of “workers control of production” (Workers management/workers-ownership), or “Workers stock ownership” however you want to label it.

    Only under the proletarian dictatorship are real liberties for the exploited and real participation of the proletarians and peasants in governing the country possible. Under the dictatorship of the proletariat, democracy is proletarian democracy, the democracy of the exploited majority, based on the restriction of the rights of the exploiting minority and directed against this minority.

    The dictatorship of the proletariat cannot arise as the result of the peaceful development of bourgeois society and of bourgeois democracy; it can arise only as the result of the smashing of the bourgeois state machine, the bourgeois army, the bourgeois bureaucratic apparatus, the bourgeois police.

    That’s why Lenin is very right in saying: “The proletarian revolution is impossible without the forcible destruction of the bourgeois state machine and the substitution for it of a new one” (see Vol. XXIII, P. 342)

    Soviet power as the state form of the dictatorship of the proletariat. The victory of the dictatorship of the proletariat signifies the suppression of the bourgeoisie, the smashing of the bourgeois state machine and the substitution of proletarian democracy for bourgeois democracy

    Let other people you know learn about socialism! Spread the word… the more people who know the truth, the greater the force against the capitalist system! Resistance forever!

    ……..(‘(…´…´…. ¯~/’…’)
    ……….”…\………. _.·´




  36. Max Shields said on August 18th, 2009 at 6:37am #

    “Right now in the USA only about about 10% to 20% are living a full complete, self realized life…”

    So what do you mean by “self-realized life”? Do you think that those who “own” the most are “self-realized”?

    Again the problem is beyond capitalism. The very thought that the “haves” have something worth distributing to all of us is problematic.

    I sense this with much of the banter here about capitalism vis a vis socialism and racism. Racism within this limited frame is one group (white) keeping the “good life” from the suppressed/oppressed minority. It is this kind of thinking that distracts us from the problem. So, we have Deadbeat making statements that it is not that there is peak oil (a “hoax” as he would put it to keep the oil companies fat, and the poor poor); the “real” problem is that white people are priviledged and keep this wealth in the hands of a few. That the wealth is in the hands of a few is correct here, as well as in most developing nation-states. Latin America is experiencing some change.

    Deadbeat reminds me of a celebratory NAACP scholarship banquet. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the American “dream”, “we” (black people) just need to get our piece of the pie. The American empire is fine and dandy (whatever that means) and the wars are ok as long as we don’t talk about them. The REAL problem is we got to get more black folks in white-collar high paying jobs…

    “Foolish” notions like “peak oil” are just a hoax and its raining on our parade because the fu?cking whities took all the good stuff and are leaving “us” black folks with crap…no no no way I’m going to believe that, exclaims Deadbeat!!! It’s racism trying to convince us there’s no more oil in the fu(ckn stuff for us!!

    We’re not going to solve these problems with dumbass ideology or by denying the realities of peak oil and the collapse of an empire, or the rapid climate change that could make much of terra firma uninhabitable. Sorry….

  37. b99 said on August 18th, 2009 at 7:09am #

    USF – I really have not read such bombast in decades – it reminds me of socialist and communist newspaper headlines of 40 years ago that would have you think that the revolution is underway. Could you be more out of touch with the objective condition of Americans or for that matter, the real world prospects for change any time soon that you desire? Middle fingers to capitalism is not a useful approach. My guess is that you’ll be out of socialism and holding fastly onto something else within a year or so.

  38. b99 said on August 18th, 2009 at 7:39am #

    USF – What is your solution to endemic racism in our country?

  39. United-Socialist-Front said on August 18th, 2009 at 10:44am #

    b99: I see that lots of people in America think that there is a solution outside of capitalism and socialism, and have an anti-scientific world view. The thing is that most people in America don’t believe in scientific understanding of societies. And they think that corruption and concentration of wealth is not caused by the capitalist system but by pure greed and evil.

    But capitalism itself is the real cause of most problems that this country has and not pure evil and greed in the ruling class.

    You have to accept the reality that socialism is the next stage in human development and nobody can fight against evolution.

  40. United-Socialist-Front said on August 18th, 2009 at 10:46am #

    Max and b99: Stop reading ultra-right wing conspiracy theory websites like Jeff Rense and Michael Rivero. Conspiracy theorists are lunatics. Socialist sites are a rational and evidence-based. And socialism is the real deal, not conpiracy theory David Icke’s Reptile theories.

  41. United-Socialist-Front said on August 18th, 2009 at 10:50am #

    The Clash


    Yankee soldier
    He wanna shoot some skag
    He met it in Cambodia
    But now he can’t afford a bag

    Yankee dollar talk
    To the dictators of the world
    In fact it’s giving orders
    An’ they can’t afford to miss a word

    I’m so bored with the U…S…A…
    But what can I do?

    Yankee detectives
    Are always on the TV
    ‘Cos killers in America
    Work seven days a week

    Never mind the stars and stripes
    Let’s print the Watergate Tapes
    I’ll salute the New Wave
    And I hope nobody escapes

    I’m so bored with the U…S…A…
    But what can I do?

    Move up Starsky
    For the C.I.A.
    Suck on Kojak
    For the USA


  42. United-Socialist-Front said on August 18th, 2009 at 10:58am #

    Beware of capitalists in USA and in the world. Capitalists are very evil people, and because most people are voting for socialist political parties in this world, they (Capitalists) know that they can’t rise to power thru elections. So what they do is that they try to rise to power thru violent means, either thru coup de etats or thru electoral coups like Bush in 2000 and in 2004

  43. United-Socialist-Front said on August 18th, 2009 at 11:00am #

    Don Hawkins: Yeah because the ultra-right wing conspiracy theory websites are agents of disinformation and confusion, in order to break the USA-Left. And the USA-left is a threat to the powers that be of this country. So the ruling classes are just trying to weakn the Marxists, leftists and communists of United States thru the spreading of bullshit agendas like ultra-right wing libertarian conspiracy theory propaganda.


  44. dan e said on August 18th, 2009 at 11:54am #

    how to inject some clarity into this discussion.

    Don Hawkins, I don’t know what you meant to convey in it, but I enjoyed reading your tale.

    One problem with the “debate” is that each one seems to mean something different by terms like Capitalism.
    For instance,”Family Capitalism”. Small scale production for profit does not equal Capitalism unless the entrepreneur employs Labor hired for a wage low enough to provide said Capitalist entrepreneur a return on the amount of money invested which is above that amount, i.e., Surplus Value. What Max described is more precisely termed Commodity Production, that is production of commodities for sale for money. Of course whenever commodity production, production of items with the intent to sell them rather than use or consume them, whenever this becomes widespread across a society, becomes the general rule rather than an occasional exception, historically it has always led to the growth of capitalism because of certain cause and effect mechanisms which compel persons engaged in commodity production to begin to hire laborers who must agree to work for a wage because they have no other means of subsistence — or to purchase slaves and thereby their labor.

    All this has been explained in exhaustive detail by Marx & Engels, gone into in even more detail by the many many who have taken their work as a starting point.
    But I’m going to stop here because I think it’s probably useless to try to explain the Capitalist/Laborer relationship to people who see it from a capitalist standpoint, who see capitalist enterprise as a normal way to live life. Those whose experience of Capitalism is from the bottom will find Marx easy to understand; if they are looking for answers that’s where they should go, not to apologists for capitalism.

  45. B99 said on August 18th, 2009 at 2:35pm #

    USF – If you hate the American middle classes you’ve lost your cause already. You are not going to get a revolution in this country unless you can get a large segment of the middle class on your side. And by the way, you are not supposed to hate the people you are rescuing from capitalism. Basically, the middle classes of America are privileged because they are overwhelmingly white – they receive privileges that are rarely granted to blacks and other minorities. What you have to do is get the middle classes to ally with both the white working class and minorities. That’s a tall order. But the truth is, the middle class is largely the same as the working class in many ways – it’s just that they have more control over their work process and are given supervisory duties over the workers. BUT, the middle class does NOT own the means of production – they function as a buffer so that the owners do not have to supervise with armed guards. Yet, you hate them. You’ve lost your struggle even before its begun.

    Socialism is only the next stage of human social evolution if it actually turns out that way. There are no guarantees. The next stage is at least as likely to be some sort of Fascism – even a ‘Green’ Fascism. But you cannot be rigid about the direction of things – social evolution is hardly more directed than natural evolution.

    Who are Rense, Rivero, and Icke? I think you are a right-wing conspiracy advocate dropping these names into the conversation so that some here will read them. And you are hoping that by making socialism sound ridiculous – some here will turn to your friends on the right. Am I right?

  46. balkas b b said on August 18th, 2009 at 3:03pm #

    dan e,
    u are right in saying that capitalism [or any other ism] may be defined/explained differently by each person.

    i go further and assert with confidence that any ism of a given person does not remain the same even for a day let alone in 10 yrs time.

    and each person’s definition or redefinition shld be accepted as valid for that person but not necessarily for another person.
    in short, each person is right when defining any ism. This view wld occlude namecalling, frustration, anger, etc.

    having said this, it can be noted that the basic human rights like the right to be medically treated with whole society paying for the treatment, cannot be further [re]defined.
    the way we express or language which we use to express that right cannot further elucidate that right.
    we’ve hit rock bottom and cannot dig any deeper in order to obtain a better explanation.

    it appears true to me that this ‘right’ along the ‘right’ to be truthfully informed about your business such as your country, can be put in either-or form: it is either wrong or right to obtain healthcare.

    Thus, 70% of amercans say, It is a basic right; 30% say, it is wrong to receive healthcare.
    But is it then a democratic wish or not? Majority says, “Yes”. And if the ‘elite’ wld respect democracy [and the greatest ever] as much as they say, what is the problem?

  47. Max Shields said on August 18th, 2009 at 3:14pm #

    dan e “For instance,”Family Capitalism”. Small scale production for profit does not equal Capitalism unless the entrepreneur employs Labor hired for a wage low enough to provide said Capitalist entrepreneur a return on the amount of money invested which is above that amount, i.e., Surplus Value. What Max described is more precisely termed Commodity Production, that is production of commodities for sale for money. Of course whenever commodity production, production of items with the intent to sell them rather than use or consume them, whenever this becomes widespread across a society, becomes the general rule rather than an occasional exception, historically it has always led to the growth of capitalism because of certain cause and effect mechanisms which compel persons engaged in commodity production to begin to hire laborers who must agree to work for a wage because they have no other means of subsistence — or to purchase slaves and thereby their labor.”

    Now I think you’re touching on some important points. Two things are what has created much of what we see economically – economies of scale that make “commoditization” and reduce all to consumers void of human relationships. The other is the more culturally played tune of “time is money”. This is the mental marketing of economies of scale and high performance commondity selling.

    This has led to hypergrowth and in that sense unsustainable growth for its own sake. This has been the US economy for at least a century, amplified by politicians over and over and over.

    I don’t think you need to read Marx’s Das Kapital to get this; nor call it Marxism to see what we’ve got.

    I’m not arguing in favor of capitalism which is so pathological that it needs a replacement from the ground up. But simply replacing it an analysis or a manifesto for Karl Marx misses the great opportunity to transform.

    One would be better off reading Wendell Berry’s The Gift of Good Land or E. F. Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful to glean a workable solution, with scads of models the globe over.

    But commoditization is the bane of human existence as we know it and with it the marketing of garbage to the very young from remote controls in living color…it is criminal.

  48. B99 said on August 18th, 2009 at 3:27pm #

    Max – Schumacher is not terribly relevant anymore. Berry would never say to ignore Marx. And neither Schumacher nor Berry, as great as they are, can replace Marx. Marx is essential, if not sufficient, reading. There’s no better way to begin to understand our place in this – a capitalist society.

  49. Max Shields said on August 18th, 2009 at 7:09pm #

    So you say. Berry nor Schumacher are relevant. Marx is pretty much passe except to academics who’ve made a handsome living off his works, a good reason to doubt Marx’s real alternative to what exists is when corporate Ivy leagues offer multiple courses on dialectical materialism ala Karl Marx.

    So, I disagree that Marx is essential. Read him. Fine, but essential? No.

    All we need to know about what exists today, is in front of us, here and now. Observe, listen and think. That’s what’s required.

  50. B99 said on August 18th, 2009 at 8:07pm #

    No, I said Schumacher is no longer terribly relevant. Berry still writes useful and interesting works. Marx provides us with a class analysis – essential to understanding CAPITALISM. And if one does not grasp the nature of capital, then one can hardly understand how the world works – literally. Marx provides a framework. Without a framework, then one is merely operating willy-nilly.

  51. Max Shields said on August 19th, 2009 at 4:14am #

    One does not need to read Marx to understand the “nature” of capital or capitalism or use Marx’s “framework” to observe and see what we have, or to have a framework. It’s amazing what we know and understand without reading Marx.

    My point with Schumacher (and Berry) is that what they have to say has more to do with building a new world, locality by locality, and are, therefore, relevent. They touch on first principles, while capital is an abstraction which is where Marx dwells. To think that capital has some kind of predetermined trajectory that we are currently living within is just hogwash.

    Capital is not physics. But if you must view Marx as your framework for understanding capital/capitalism that’s your prerogative.

  52. Max Shields said on August 19th, 2009 at 6:30am #

    What seems to be lost in all this talk about capitalism is the notion that it is of a piece. There are argrarian capitalism, small business capitalism, industrial capitalism and its cousin corporate capitalism, and probably many other hybrids in a variety of blended economies.

    So, it is a sham to call Capitalism some kind of monolithic economic system. It is a human construct as is socialism which has as many if not more variants as capitalism.

    It is nearly impossible to talk intelligently about these “systems” without clear definitions, and hours and hours of time to dialog; none of which exists here.

    To simply come out as some have here (I don’t mean you, B99, who seems to take a much broader view, thank you) and use these terms “willy-nilly”, to borrow a phrase is weak and lazy thinking.

    But it is all too common “thinking”. Why, because that’s the way Americans (of either side of the proverbial isle) think – in sound bites.
    The variant of “capitalism” we have is high-finance that views the US as a market for endless consumerism, where derivatives that go nowhere but to make a few gamblers very very rich without providing “capital” to enterprises, thus sucking the daylights out of you and me, collapsed – fed once again by the frog – Barack Obama so the scorpian – WallStreet/Banksters can once agains live and thrive off of us.

    But because of this massive collapse, socialism, the other ill-defined an overused term, and Marx (who has all too many children) has been resurrected as a cure for this variant and paracitic form of capitalism. That’s lazy thinking. When the hammer isn’t working let’s just go for the screwdriver…no matter the problem.

  53. balkas b b said on August 19th, 2009 at 8:01am #

    max, respectfully,
    we can simplify or complexify [gradationally] any ism or even single notion.
    simplifying or comlexifying hinge on several key factors: honesty, previous knowledege {or ‘knowledge’}, and most importantly just mere words.

    understandings of capitalism can be explained in following words: we all work; in every country, each with its own different governance and laws.
    by any name, that’s what’s going on everywhere.

    please note that, to me, governance is not governments. Gov’ts come and go but constitution and many laws stay.
    it goes without saying that the ‘elite’ will always strive to complexify all simlicities when that suits their interests; i.e., lead low[er] classes by nose.
    Most of the time they complain of too much government but avoid [is it always?] to look at the root cause of what is going on: the system of rule and constitution on which governance is based.

    so, to better understand US, look at what people in US do and who enacts laws and how the law is related to us and our work.

    i do not think that people need education to understand this simplicity. And, precisely, because it is understandable to even a child, it will without fail be complexified or the simplicity may be dismissed as simlifying too much.
    another favorite retort by our ‘leaders’ is, There is no simple solutions.
    too bad, but the ancient subterfuge works for leaders.
    yet, it seems to me, most solutions can be obtained simply but reaching an understanding [with so many liars around] and finding a solution is indeed laborious, rancorous, or complex, if one will. tnx